Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at “crazy” claims that fake news posted on the platform contributed to the election of Donald Trump to the White House.
Several commentators have pointed the finger at social networks for failing to tackle biased and factually incorrect stories, suggesting that the increase in people receiving their news from social platforms had influenced the result.
But speaking at a technology conference, Mr Zuckerberg said: “Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook – of which it’s a very small amount of the content – influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.”
He added: “Part of what I think is going on here is that people are trying to understand the result of the election.
“But I do think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason that someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news.
“If you believe that, then I don’t think you have internalised the message that Trump supporters are trying to send.”